Monday, September 24, 2018

Fall is in the Air by Belle Calhoune



I love Fall.  I love the smell of the crisp cool air and the fall foliage that turns pretty shades of red,

orange, yellow and brown.  As a New Englander, I love going apple and pumpkin picking, enjoying

a hearty bowl of soup and curling up in a love seat with a good book and a warm blanket.  I don't

particularly love football, but it makes me happy to see my husband and my daughter so ecstatic

about it.  I've promised my daughter that we'll go to a New England Patriot's game this season.   Go

Pats!  And while they're watching football I can dig into a juicy novel or I can sit with them and

brainstorm a book.





Everyone in my family eagerly anticipates Fall.  All of our birthdays are in September, October and

November, which makes this season all the sweeter.  Once I see pumpkins for sale, that sets the tone

for Autumn bliss.




Everywhere I go these days, I'm surrounded by pumpkin-flavored food items.  This trend has

definitely kicked into high gear.  I'm not complaining because I love pumpkin flavored treats.


Pumpkin flavored Oreos.  Pumpkin oatmeal.  Pumpkin cookies.  Pumpkin spice coffee.  And my

personal favorite, Pumpkin donuts.  So yummy! I do draw the line at pumpkin yogurt though.  Not

my cup of tea!











Apple picking and peach picking a few weeks ago yielded these gorgeous apple tarts made by my

teenaged daughter.  She just turned 16 and is enjoying making new recipes and turning apples into

tarts.  It brought me back to my childhood and the apple treats my mother used to bake for us.





I love fall most of all because I believe it's a season ripe with new beginnings.  As summer wanes,

all the possibilities are laid out before us.  For me, it feels as if anything is possible as kids go back to

school and my house becomes a little quieter.  As writers, we can touch more hearts with each and

every book we write.  We can soar to greater heights in our craft.  We can achieve more of our

writing dreams by stretching ourselves and creating more.




My new release "Forever and a Day" (Book 5 in Seven Brides Seven Brothers Pelican Bay series) even has a Fall-like cover.   This was a happy coincidence,

since when I picked the image for the cover I had no idea it would be a September release.



What are your favorite things about Fall?  Any other pumpkin lovers out there?

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Sunday Scripture

Jesus Christ with the Children, Carl Block, 1800s, The Museum
of Natural History, Denmark. [PD-US]


Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee,
but he did not wish anyone to know about it. 
He was teaching his disciples and telling them,
“The Son of Man is to be handed over to men
and they will kill him,
and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.” 
But they did not understand the saying,
and they were afraid to question him.

They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house,
he began to ask them,
“What were you arguing about on the way?” 
But they remained silent.
They had been discussing among themselves on the way
who was the greatest. 
Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them,
“If anyone wishes to be first,
he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” 
Taking a child, he placed it in their midst,
and putting his arms around it, he said to them,
“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;
and whoever receives me,
receives not me but the One who sent me.”
Mark 9:30-37

If you have any prayer needs, please mention them in the comments section so we can join you in prayer. You do not need to include specific names or situations of a private nature, just say that you have a prayer request. The Lord knows your heart and the needs you have. It is a privilege and honor to pray with you and for you.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

New for October from Our Love Inspired Contemporary Authors

Jean C. Gordon here with four new must buys from our Love Inspired Contemporary authors. Just click on the cover or retailer links to purchase it. And to learn more about Lorraine, Jo Ann, Arlene, and Jill, click on their names.

https://www.amazon.com/Their-Family-Legacy-Mississippi-Hearts-ebook/dp/B079YSCHZB
Their Family Legacy
by Lorraine Beatty 
 
Can new love spring from old pain?
Hope lives in Mississippi Hearts
To keep her new inheritance, single mom Annie Shepherd must uphold an old court ruling imposed on Jake Langford, who’s still paying for the tragic accident from his youth. But as Annie and her twin boys get to know the grade school teacher, she discovers a kind, generous man beneath the past mistakes. Can Annie and Jake create a family through forgiveness?
 
Amazon | B&N | Harlequin | Kobo | Google Play | iBooks

https://www.amazon.com/Amish-Christmas-Cowboy-Spinster-Club-ebook/dp/B079YRNVM5
The Amish Christmas Cowboy
by Jo Ann Brown 

A cowboy for Christmas…
or another year in the Amish Spinster Club?

Nanny Sarah Kuhns has her hands full with kinder, her overbearing brothers and her big dreams. And it only gets worse when she takes on the care of an injured cowboy. For Amish traveling horseman Toby Christner, tight-knit Harmony Creek represents everything he’s run from. Until he heals, he can’t leave…but will falling for Sarah make him want to stay?

Amazon | B&N | Harlequin | Kobo | Google Play | iBooks

https://www.amazon.com/Ranchers-Answered-Prayer-Three-Brothers-ebook/dp/B079YQW9XH
The Rancher's Answered Prayer
by Arlene James 

A single mom. A bachelor cowboy…
and an inheritance forcing them to share Three Brothers Ranch
According to the will, single mom Tina Kemp’s stepfather left her his house, but his nephew, Wyatt Smith, inherited the ranch—including the land the house stands upon. With neither willing to give up their legacy, they must find a way to make it work. Can these adversaries possibly share a home…without falling for each other?
 
Amazon | B&N | Harlequin | Kobo | Google Play | iBooks

https://www.amazon.com/Wyoming-Christmas-Quadruplets-Cowboys-ebook/dp/B079YQVVYG
Wyoming Christmas Quadruplets
by Jill Kemerer 

A nanny at Christmastime…
Will she find love in this Wyoming Cowboys novel?
Six weeks on a ranch caring for quadruplets—aspiring nurse Ainsley Draper’s prepared for a busy Christmas. When the children’s handsome uncle opens the door, her task gets extra complicated. Marshall Graham is upholding his promise to look after his twin sister, the babies’ mom. But as family loyalty clashes with new love, will the perfect present include a future with Ainsley?
 
Amazon | B&N | Harlequin | Kobo | Google Play | iBooks

Friday, September 21, 2018

God's Promise in a Tomato Plant by Jordyn Redwood


There’re a lot of things I do well . . . gardening is not one of them. This is somewhat surprising since I’m a nurse. You would think helping heal children would translate well to the botanic arts. It doesn’t—at least not for this author. If your child has a broken arm I’m right there with you, game plan in hand. However, if your garden is suffering from any sort of terrible plant disease (Club Root, Downey Mildew, and Mosaic Virus—keep in mind I have no idea what these are or how to treat them) I’m the last person you should call.

All this doesn’t mean I don’t try my hand at gardening. I don’t know why—it’s like playing a game I seemingly can’t win, but I pursue the battle none the less. Call me Nurse Black Thumb. This year was more trying than ever. I tried growing starter plants inside (which I have successfully improved upon

over the last three years), but as soon as I planted them outside, they died in the blistering heat in three days. Some of my problem is my family is not as dedicated to the garden as I try to be so if I’m working a stretch of night shifts no one is really keeping my little samplings alive. 

After all my starter plants died, I headed to a large nursery to see what they had left over, which was quite a bit—and at fifty percent off because it was now mid-June. Nevertheless, I purchased zucchini, yellow squash, and a lot of different tomatoes and babied those younglings along, sunbathing them a little each day, until they were “acclimated” so I could plant them in the sun and hopefully they would stay alive. They did—and actually grew.

However, the plants didn’t perform as well as I would have liked. I think the bees were not busy enough as I only got a measly two zucchini from three plants and there were plenty of blossoms. I thought about shaking my fist at the sky, “Come on bees, there are talks named after you. Don’t let me down!” Come to find out, you can aid in this process of pollinating blossoms, but that seemed a little bit beyond my gardening wherewithal. My “healthy kick” tomatoes (this was really their name) were the most sickly of the bunch—go figure. I think God finds humor in all of this.

Two tomato plants I tried to grow in pots on our patio. I did well forcing my children to water them daily. All was well until I went to a writer’s conference for four days straight. Guess what? No one watered those two tomato plants. They’d already been through several traumas—knocked over by wind storms, etc. When I saw their brown, curling leaves I gave up trying to salvage them. Too far gone.

I don’t know why, but I kept those plants, slowly dying, on my deck for the rest of the summer. A few days ago, I looked out and among the dead, crispy corpses was one bright red tomato. I had my youngest daughter, a budding photographer, capture the sight. Seemingly, every bit of life that plant had to give had been poured into this one, single tomato. All I could think was—this is what Jesus did for us. Dying, withering on that cross so each of us could have life.

I don’t know if this spiritual lesson was something God wanted me to see from my gardening failures, but I do believe there are little insights into everything we do if we just put down our phones (or whatever glowing rectangles you might be looking at) and consider the divine intricacy of the world around us. When I do this, I see touches of God in nearly everything. A child’s smile. A neighbor helping another.

And in one tiny perfect tomato.

Where do you see miracles?

**************************************************************************


Jordyn Redwood is a pediatric nursing supervisor by night, suspense novelist by day. She hosts Redwood’s Medical Edge, a blog devoted to helping contemporary and historical authors write medically accurate fiction. Jordyn’s novels have been nominated for multiple awards and she recently won the Contemporary Romance Writers Stiletto Contest with her novel Taken Hostage. You can connect with Jordyn via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and her website.  


Thursday, September 20, 2018

Many steps from idea to published book, by Myra Johnson

This week I’m finishing up the first round of editorial revisions on my next Love Inspired romance. The beautiful thing about working with an editor is the powerful synergy that comes from sharing ideas. My editor never pushes me to use her exact suggestions. Instead, she points out weak areas in the plot and characterization, then offers her thoughts about possible fixes. I use those ideas as jumping-off points to brainstorm changes that will address the problems while best preserving my vision for the story.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
There will be more back-and-forth as the manuscript is polished and the final text proofread, but all those extra eyes on every page help to ensure a book worthy of the Love Inspired imprint. Yes, the occasional typo, research error, or cover art discrepancy is bound to slip through, because we’re all just human beings, each of us doing our best to provide an enjoyable and inspiring reading experience.

And the Love Inspired readership is a voracious bunch! It still amazes me to realize Harlequin publishes SIX brand new Love Inspired romances and SIX Love Inspired Suspense novels every month! That’s a lot of hours logged by writers, editors, copyeditors, and proofreaders, plus the art and marketing departments and everyone else involved from the germ of an idea in the author’s mind until it becomes the published book you’re holding in your hands.

12 books a month = 144 books a year!
Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

Readers, what questions have you always wanted to ask about the book publishing process?

Authors, which aspects of publishing have taken you most by surprise?


~~~~~~

Myra Johnson writes emotionally gripping stories about love, life, and faith. She’s currently at work on a new Love Inspired mini-series, Hill Country Haven, with returning characters from Her Hill Country Cowboy and Hill Country Reunion. The first book in the series has been officially titled The Rancher’s Redemption and is currently slated for a May 2019 release.


Myra is a three-time Maggie Awards finalist, two-time finalist for the prestigious ACFW Carol Awards, winner of Christian Retailing’s Best for historical fiction, and winner in the Inspirational category of the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Awards. Originally from Texas but now residing in the beautiful Carolinas, Myra and her husband love the climate and scenery, but they may never get used to the pulled pork Carolinians call “barbecue”! The Johnsons share their home with two very pampered rescue dogs who don’t always understand the meaning of “Mom’s trying to write.” They’ve also inherited the cute little cat (complete with attitude) their daughter and family had to leave behind when they moved overseas.



Sign up to receive Myra’s e-news updates here!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Life Imitating Art?

Hi Everyone,

Danica Favorite here, and I thought I'd tell you a little about my transition to writing for Love Inspired after writing for Love Inspired Historical for eight books. It's kind of a weird place right now, since my last book was out in February, and my next book is also a February book. I just got a sneak peek at the cover, and oh boy, do I wish I could show you!

So what is this next project?

For Love Inspired, I'm writing a series called Three Sisters Ranch, about three sisters who inherit a run-down ranch from a long-lost relative. They have no ranching experience, but they're determined to build a new life on this ranch in Colorado.

Here's the funny part about life imitating art. Or maybe it's my art imitating my life. We did not inherit a ranch (rats!), but, as some of you may recall, we did buy a house in the mountains with property and the intention of getting horses.

This past Saturday, we got our fourth (and FINAL!) horse. What's been cool about our horse journey is that I've been able to use a lot of what we've learned to write this series. Our horses are all formerly wild mustangs, so we've had quite a few adventures training them. In fact, book two, which is as of yet untitled with no release date other than mid 2019, is ALL ABOUT the horses. Sort of. I don't want to share too much now, because you'll hear more about that book later, but I couldn't resist introducing you to our new crew:


Meet Simba, Ava, Jasper, and Stunner!


I've also been doing a lot of travel with my daughter, who is part of a mounted drill team. So, more horses! It's been great watching her see the fulfillment of her dreams. She's been part of the program for nine years, and is now traveling the country, riding at their top level. They did shows this year in Colorado, New Mexico, and Iowa. I'm told next year will also include a show in South Dakota!
 I'm excited to see what she does next, and of course, what fodder I will find for my stories!



Cowgirl in action


So that's what I've been up to! Hopefully, you'll see a taste of this fun in my books, but if not, I'm always posting fun things on Facebook and Instagram about our adventures. I can't wait to see what you read in my books and say, "hey! She posted about doing that!"


As readers, what do you like to see from authors' lives? What interesting things can I share with you about our animal adventures? Or my other adventures?

About Danica Favorite:

A self-professed crazy chicken lady, Danica Favorite loves the adventure of living a creative life. She and her family recently moved in to their dream home in the mountains above Denver, Colorado.  Danica loves to explore the depths of human nature and follow people on the journey to happily ever after. Though the journey is often bumpy, those bumps are what refine imperfect characters as they live the life God created them for. Oops, that just spoiled the ending of all of Danica’s stories. Then again, getting there is all the fun.
You can connect with Danica at the following places:







Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Where do you get those ideas for your books? by Jo Ann Brown

When people find out I’m a writer, and I’m celebrating the 30th anniversary of my first book this year and I’ve published over 100 books with a variety of pseudonyms since that initial book, the first question they ask is: “Where do you get your ideas?” Maybe they’ve seen the small bank I saw this spring in a bookstore window in England and thought that I just keep them in a box on my desk.
I hope the question about where I find my ideas isn’t quickly followed (not even giving me a chance to answer) with “I’ve got a great idea for a book, but I don’t have the time to write it. Do you want it? You write the book, and we’ll split the profits.” I’ve learned to smile sincerely and say that I’m grateful for their offer, but I’ve already got more ideas than I’ll have time to write. The response is either a knowing nod or disbelief.
And you know what? Both responses are correct.
I’ve always got ideas for future books whirling about in my head. Most writers do. The amazing thing is the future ideas always feel much more enticing than the current one in the work-in-progress, especially if I’m in the midst of the middle muddles section of the writing process. That part when all those story threads that looked so straightforward when I began the project now seem like a ball of yarn that’s been on the losing end of a kitten’s attention. Many of those ideas will eventually find their way into another book, but some just drift away and are best forgotten. Some writers keep an idea notebook, but I don’t. If an idea doesn’t have the power to stay and grow – it can’t remain just an idea; it has to become a more in-depth concept—then it never was, in my opinion, more than a whim. You know how I define a whim? Just something that seems like fun in passing, but doesn’t have enough depth to become anything real.
But, every once in a while, an idea comes to me as a gift from someone else. Usually it’s from a family member (especially my husband who’s my first reader and catches all the words I leave in or leave out in my rush to tell the story). My children grew up listening to a discussion of plot points around the supper table as my part of “How was your day today?” sharing that we did each night.
The second book of my Amish Spinster Club series is one of those books where the central idea for the book (and the title) was given to me during a dinner discussion with my husband. We still do the “How was your day today?” sharing even though the kids are grown and out on their own. I was excited about the heroine I had planned for the book—an Amish nanny in an Englisch home—
but I was still pondering the rest of the details. We actually were talking about the most recent releases from Love Inspired, and I mentioned how two were Amish romances and three were western settings and the last was a small town setting in the Midwest. With a laugh, my husband told me I should try to combine them all into one book. The Midwest book wouldn’t work because the series is set in northern New York. Therefore, he said my next book should be called The Amish Cowboy. He laughed, thinking it was a joke...but I thought, “Hmm....”
I’m sure every writer (or artist of any type) understands what that “Hmm....” means. It’s the sound of the wheels of the brain kicking into motion. Ideas soon were ricocheting through my head, and the story for book which eventually became The Amish Christmas Cowboy quickly gelled in my head.
It’s not the first time my family has given me ideas for books, and I hope it won’t be the last, because no matter how many ideas I have on my own...good ideas for books are always welcome here. I guess I need to look for a small box that says that. Hmm....

Monday, September 17, 2018

Showers of Inspiration

    
It's happened to me more times than I can count. I get up early, brew some coffee and settle down at my desk in my teensy writing office, ready to tackle the next scene in my story.
     I write. I delete. I write again.  I delete. I stare goggle-eyed at the annoying cursor flashing reproachfully on my screen.
     I mentally tot up how far behind I'm getting and how soon my kids are going to be up, signaling the official end of my writing time. I seriously consider scratching the whole idea of writing books. Maybe I'll take up knitting instead. Knitting is cozy, and you can do it while you watch television.
     I remember the last time I tried to knit.
     Okay. So maybe not knitting.
     I refocus on the computer screen. I don't like my characters anymore, especially that heroine who's stubbornly refusing to cooperate with me. In my beautiful, breezy outline, she came across as delightfully spunky. Now she's like that renegade wheel on the grocery cart I always end up with--the one that makes me veer off track and crash into pyramids of canned green beans.
     I want to clonk her on the head.
     I decide this book is a total wash. No matter that I'm on page one hundred and eleven. It's garbage. I'm just going to have to start over; that's all there is to it.
     I give up and go to take a shower.
     And then--when I am physically as far away from my computer as I can get and still be inside the house, when I have no pen, no paper, nothing except shampoo and soap--it comes to me.
     I know exactly how to write that scene.
     I wish I had a nickel for every time I have hopped dripping out of a half-completed shower in desperate search of a pencil to jot down the dialogue my spunky heroine can utter that will turn the scene from a disaster into exactly the plot device I need to move the story forward.
     Apparently, I'm not alone in this. Agatha Christie, who as a murder mystery writer did have the enviable advantage of being able to kill off annoying characters, once remarked, "The best time for planning a book is while you're doing the dishes."
     What about you? Is there a non-writing activity that tends to get your creative juices flowing when you're blocked? Since I'm in the middle of a particularly balky book right now, I'd love to hear about it! Leave a comment below--or connect with me on my blog, via email or on Facebook.
And don't forget to check out my newest release A Baby for the Minister, available now! 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Sunday Scripture

Il Spasimo, Jesus carrying the cross,
by 
Raphael
, 1516, Prado Museum, Madrid.
[PD-US]


Jesus and his disciples set out
for the villages of Caesarea Philippi. 
Along the way he asked his disciples,
"Who do people say that I am?" 
They said in reply,
"John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others one of the prophets." 
And he asked them,
"But who do you say that I am?" 
Peter said to him in reply,
"You are the Christ." 
Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.

He began to teach them
that the Son of Man must suffer greatly
and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed, and rise after three days. 
He spoke this openly. 
Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 
At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples,
rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan. 
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do."

He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them,
"Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me. 
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake
and that of the gospel will save it."
Mark 8:27-35

If you have prayer needs, please mention them in the comments section so we can join you in prayer. You do not need to include specific names or situations of a private nature, just say that you have a prayer request. The Lord knows your heart and the needs you have. It is a privilege and honor to pray with you and for you.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Sit Back and Read with the Love Inspired Reader Service


Choose two FREE books from any inspirational series.

Join Christian characters as they experience the challenges of life, the promise of hope and the wonder of romance.

Read a FREE excerpt. Decide which series you like best. Choose Regular or Larger Print. Love Inspired will send your two free books plus two mystery gifts (approximate retail value of $10) directly to your door. Once you're a member, all you have to do is sit back and read.

Sign up today!

Print Books
eBooks

Friday, September 14, 2018

Finding Your Niche by Marie Bast


Authors all want to get published, but it’s not always easy to find a publisher that’s the perfect fit for our writing. Especially when it’s our first book. I’m a new author with Love Inspired, and therefore, thought I’d share my experience on cracking the code to publication. For those of you who have been trying to capture the attention of an editor or publisher, here is my journey to my first book contract.              



Before
I joined writers’ organizations like RWA, ACFW, SCBWI, Word weavers, and two critique groups. The training and information from these professional organizations and writers were invaluable. Now, I’m going to enlist the aid of my son’s dog, Lola, who has graciously volunteered (after receiving several biscuits) to demonstrate show don’t tell for manuscript makeover. In the creative stage of writing, extraneous little creatures—over-used words, adverbs, prepositions, sentence starters and filler words had weaseled their way onto each page. They made my work-in-process (WIP) look bloated and shaggy—needing a cleanup.       

After

After scrubbing and trimming my manuscripts, they looked professional, sharp, and ready for presentation to editors and publishers. Besides publishing dozens of articles, short stories, devotionals, poetry and prayers, I contributed to four book compilations. Brimming with confidence, I wrote three adult books and five children’s books. Armed with proposals, I attended several writers' conferences. None of them caught a publisher's attention. Disappointed but I was still determined.      
 
Since I enjoyed reading Love Inspired books, I browsed their webpage and found that in February, they often held contests or offered submission opportunities. My first attempt at submission, failed, but I received constructive comments and advice. The next time I entered a contest, I made it through stage one, but rejected at stage two. Then at a writers’ conference, I attended a workshop given by Allie Pleiter. I learned a lot from Allie on how to further hone my work, and it gave me the push to submit to LI again. After submission, the whole process took around a year, but it ended in a contract.

 My advice, don’t give up. Attend writers’ conferences and workshops, find a publisher that you’d like to work with, then read their books and determine if this is the kind of niche or genre you’d like to write. Before you submit, make sure you have trimmed and polished your manuscript until the shaggy spots are gone.    

My first book, The Amish Baker releases March 2019. Have you ever had someone give you that crucial shove to try something one more time?  To get to know me better, visit my blog, follow me on Facebook, or Twitter.




 
 




 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

On Cupcakes & Texas Homecoming Mums - Plus, a Giveaway! By Sara K. Parker


Two updates! :)

1. I spent several hours creating my first Texas Homecoming mum, and I have to admit that I actually enjoyed the process. It helped that my friend had almost all the supplies, including one of those amazing printers that can print any shape - namely, the glittery orange diver I added to the mum. My son's friend is a diver, and you can't find much diver paraphernalia at craft stores in September. 


2. I know I'm late posting, but Sherri G. is the winner of the gift card. Send your e-mail address to parker.sarak@gmail.com.

Earlier Post:
I know it’s my day to introduce myself, but can I first just tell you what's on my mind right now?

Texas mums.

And I’m not talking about these:


I’m talking about THESE:




I have been quietly giggling about these larger-than-life ribbon-stuffed-animal necklaces for years. Texans, forgive me. I’m a Maryland girl, where mums are still just flowers to be tended to and admired. But today? Today I will be initiated into the world of Texas Homecoming Mum Crafting. Actually, I made that up. What’s really happening is this:

My amazing, selfless, creative, and ridiculously patient friend Lori is having pity on me because my 15-year-old son decided four days before Homecoming to ask a girl to the dance, and this Maryland mom is completely clueless when it comes to Texas mums. Lori picked up supplies, which I can only guess include ribbons and glue and glitter and maybe feathers or some-such, and she is going to walk me through the mum-making process.

She even offered to make the whole thing herself, but with three more kids coming up through the ranks, I’m thinking that mum-making skills will serve me well over the next seven years. Or, maybe I will get rich and I will be able to pay someone to make these fancy monstrosities. If you would like to contribute to the Parker Family Mum Cause, message me and I’ll let you know where to donate. Be advised: I cannot promise that some of the funds will not be used to support my cupcake habit. When stressed, I eat, and this whole mum business is taking its toll.

From Left: Mudslinger, S'mores, Oreo

I’m mostly joking. Fun fact about me #1: I think any excuse is a good excuse for cupcake consumption.

#2 – My husband and I met on a blind date and have been married 15 years. Ironically, I asked him to never buy me flowers. I’d rather have chocolate that I can eat than flowers I can merely look at until they die.

#3 – We have four kids: two teenage sons and identical twin daughters.



#4 – We have four animals: a 16-year-old cat, two crazy dogs and a five-month-old puppy. Our dogs are named after candy: Reese, Rolo, and Twix.
Haylea, our elderly kitty.
Rolo, age 4

 

The newest addition: Twix, five months 
Reese (age 4) meeting Twix for the first time.

 #5 - One of our daughters is a Ewing Sarcoma cancer survivor, and just reached the one-year NED mark on September 9! Here's a pic of our family getting ready to board our Make-A-Wish flight to Florida for our Disney Cruise!




#6 – I write for Love Inspired Suspense, and I also teach developmental English at a nearby community college. I absolutely love doing both!

#7 – In my occasional free time, I go on long runs (AKA astonishingly slow jogs), stay up too late reading novels I can’t put down, and play the piano.

#8 – I landed my first book contract (Undercurrent) through a pitch contest my sister Shirlee McCoy encouraged me to enter in 2013. I didn’t sell again until 2017 (Dying to Remember).

#9 – My third book is coming out in March 2019 (ShatteredTrust), and I’m madly writing book number four, slotted for publication next fall.

#10 – I like to give things away! To be entered into a drawing for a $15 Amazon gift card, comment below with a fun fact about you or a question for me. Winner will be announced here at 10 p.m. CST. I’ll try to post a photo of the completed Homecoming Mum, too!

By the way, I’m still trying to find my groove when it comes to keeping up with social media, but I’d love to connect with you:

Click here to visit my Facebook author page
Hop over here to check out my occasionally updated Website.
Feel free to visit my rather silent Twitter account
And, here is even a link to my shamefully neglected Instagram account

Thanks for popping by to say hello!